India is seeking a transition from socialist economy to market economy, and the corruption is perhaps an inevitable consequence when inflation is high, the state sheltered wages keep falling in real terms.
Auction is a first derivative solution, but not the real answer. The Honorable Judges can not be expected to possess know-how to steer economy, it is an executive policy function. A ruling on this matter is as absurd as the one years earlier which sought to define Hindutva! These need to be viewed seriously as judicial overreach. The answer to mining resources is proper market valuation of land. Realistic valuation requires proper land markets be developed such that legal mechanisms for price discovery get created. The real values of land being acquired by governments is far higher than what business actually pays, not surprisingly they find it far far cheaper to pay the politicians. Infact, all business bodies in India have opposed genuine land market and want governments to acquire land for them. The lobby for SEZ is very strong indeed.
Such auction process may improve the returns to the government, but not to the landowners, mostly poor people of India. A legal framework, with privacy of ownership being complete which includes the right of refusal to sell, is a mandatory requirement to evolved complex set of institutions for creating a market for land transactions. Only with such decentralized decision making, land aggregation, rationalization of farm holding sizes, investment in suburbs development propelled by rapid motorization of Indian cities shall take place at massive scale required for fast forwarding development.
Market economy is premised on voluntary transfer of land, after demanded price has been paid by the buyer. The state also benefits by higher tax realization in the long run. So do business by creating right of ambiance within their organization and with outside society. It is a win-win-win measure really when seen from a proper and long term perspective.